DogCon IV

DogConIVDogCon IV is just around the corner! Bigger and better than ever, this year’s event features live music at the Philadelphia Mausoleum of Contemporary Art, a tour and writing jam at the haunted Eastern State Penitentiary, a guided tour of the historic Laurel Hill Cemetery, readings from 17 authors, a presentation on the “Uncanny” at Neumann University by Michael A. Arnzen, and a book launch/fringe fiction forum hosted by Farley’s Bookshop.

While much of the event is free–as always–this year we are doing a couple things which require tickets. Please find the full info at http://rawdogscreaming.com/dogcon/ and don’t forget to check out the links to the first three DogCons at the bottom of the page. Fun times!

Group Author Signing at Seton Hill University

June 26, 7-9pm • Greensburg, PA

The mass signingAs part of their writing workshop Seton Hill University hosts a massive author signing every June. Though you have to register for the workshop the signing is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. This is the 4th year that Raw Dog Screaming Press and its imprint Dog Star Books have participated and each year has been better than the last. RDSP authors who are participating this year:

Michael A. ArnzenMatt BettsJ.L. GribbleJohn Edward LawsonHeidi Ruby MillerJason Jack MillerAlbert WendlandK. Ceres WrightStephanie Wytovich

The book signing is held in the gym on the Seton Hill campus in the McKenna Center from 7-9 pm. On this map it is building #9.

BOOKS-steelvictory J.L. Gribble‘s first novel, Steel Victory, will debut at the book signing

“The innovative combination of genres is appealing, and Gribble’s multiple story lines—invasion, anti-creature bias, and intercity politics—mesh very well together….This is a solid first effort that sets the stage for more installments in an intriguing world with complex characters.”—Publishers Weekly

One hundred years ago, the vampire Victory retired from a centuries-long mercenary career. She settled in Limani, the independent city-state acting as a neutral zone between the British and Roman colonies on the New Continent.

Twenty years ago, Victory adopted a human baby girl, who soon showed signs of magical ability.

Today, Victory is a city councilwoman, balancing the human and supernatural populations within Limani. Her daughter Toria is a warrior-mage, balancing life as an apprentice mercenary with college chemistry courses.

Tomorrow, the Roman Empire invades.

See photos of the book signing in other years: 2012, 2013, 2014

Introducing Our Rewards Program

CD-audiovileHere is an update regarding the online shop:

Many of the strongest brands understand the loyalty of their patrons should be recognized, and offer a rewards program to give something back to repeat customers. We realize how important your business is so we have also instituted a points-based rewards program.

Not only that, but we have instituted a referral program as well. When you refer somebody to us they get a 10% discount on their first purchase, and in return you receive 500 points redeemable through our rewards program.

That sounds great, but what does it mean? Well, 500 points translates into an immediate $5.00 discount, or you can save those points to stack with more points earned at a later date. The system works as follows:

  • register using the black tab at the lower left of your screen
  • earn 4 points per dollar spent
  • earn 100 points for setting up an account
  • earn 500 points for referrals
  • redeem 500 points for a $5 discount
  • redeem 1,000 points for a $10 discount
  • redeem 2,500 points for a $25 discount
  • redeem 5,000 points for a $50 discount

Some of those point totals are large, but we will be adding an array of higher value products shortly. Until then: we thank you for visiting our shop, and hope to meet your expectations with our service.

ALSO…we have added the unique music CD/audio book hybrid Audiovile by Michael A. Arnzen. If you enjoy the strange, humorous, dark, and unexpected you might want to give this one a listen. Visit http://chicken-soup-for-the-soulless.myshopify.com/products/audiovile for more information.

Bizarro Halloween

Bizarro Halloween graphicRDSP is celebrating Halloween bizarro style at Terrault Contemporary art gallery in Baltimore and you’re invited! With the impending release of the 20th Anniversary Edition of Grave Markings we’ve got a whole lot of weird to celebrate. John Edward Lawson will be your emcee and there will be readings from Michael Arnzen, K. Ceres Wright, B.E. Burkhead, G. Arthur Brown and J.L. Gribble. Come out and bask in the glow, we’re 73% pretty sure it’s not toxic!

Terrault Contemporary is located at the heart of the Station North Arts District of Baltimore in the historical Copycat building, 1515 Guilford Ave., Baltimore, MD 21202.

Meet the Authors

Born dead to a barren woman, B. E. Burkhead is a poet, writer and artist. He lives on the vestigial tail of Maryland with his wife, son and an army of starving cats. His first book of poetry, The Underside of the Rainbow, will be published by Raw Dog Screaming Press in 2015.

Wright received her Master’s degree in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA, and Cog was her thesis novel for the program. An accomplished poet, Wright’s science fiction poem “Doomed” was a nominee for the Rhysling Award, the Science Fiction Poetry Association’s highest honor. Her work has appeared in Hazard Yet Forward; Genesis: An Anthology of Black Science Fiction; Many Genres, One Craft; and The 2008 Rhysling Anthology.

G. Arthur Brown, when not sleeping, writes absurd and irreal Bizarro fiction, especially in restrooms. The influence of Monty Python, Donald Barthelme, Guy Maddin, Kelly Link, Franz Kafka, and the Reagan administration can be seen in much of his work. His first book, Kitten, is available as part of Eraserhead Press’s 2012 New Bizarro Author Series. His stories appear in the Bizarro Bizarro anthology from Bizarro Pulp Press, and in Axes of Evil from Diabolus in Musica, and in the forthcoming Vertigo Schisms from the Surreal Grotesque.

J.L. Gribble is fascinated by the construct of the English language. By day, she is a full-time medical editor, in which she wrangles authors and translates medico-babble into something coherent. On the side, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Most recently, she was co-editor of Far Worlds, a speculative fiction anthology.

Often funny, always terrifying, Michael Arnzen has been publishing experimental horror fiction and twisted poetry for over twenty years. His works have been adapted to film, music, and even playing cards and poetry magnets. A four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, Arnzen currently teaches in the MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University. The Gorelets Omnibus – published by Raw Dog Screaming Press in 2013 – collects a decade of his craziest poems and thinkpieces. Another RDSP title, 100 Jolts: Shockingly Short Stories, remains a ground-breaking collection in the flash fiction movement. His latest books are the novel, Play Dead, and Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side, an E-book helper for writers. See what Mike is up to now and subscribe to his newsletter at: http://gorelets.com

DogCon 3 Countdown #2

 

Author Michael A. Arnzen
Author Michael A. Arnzen

Will you be in the western Pennsylvania area this coming weekend, July 25-27? If so come to Confluence, Pittsburgh’s literary conference of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Confluence has been kind enough to host DogCon 3 (the annual gathering of Raw Dog Screaming Press) this year. This will give you a chance to meet author Michael A. Arnzen!

Here is his schedule at Confluence:

  • Friday 6 pm Happiness in Horror
  • Friday 7 pm Kaffee Klatsch
  • Friday 8 pm RDSP Rapid Fire Reading
  • Saturday 11 am Autographing
  • Saturday 1 pm Humor and Genre
  • Saturday 5 pm Want to see something REALLY scary?
  • Saturday 9 pm Movies as Series

About Michael A. Arnzen

Often funny, always terrifying, Michael Arnzen has been publishing experimental horror fiction and twisted poetry for over twenty years. His works have been adapted to film, music, and even playing cards and poetry magnets. A four-time winner of the Bram Stoker Award, Arnzen currently teaches in the MFA program in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University. The Gorelets Omnibus – published by Raw Dog Screaming Press in 2013 – collects a decade of his craziest poems and thinkpieces. Another RDSP title, 100 Jolts: Shockingly Short Stories, remains a ground-breaking collection in the flash fiction movement. His latest books are the novel, Play Dead, and Instigation: Creative Prompts on the Dark Side, an E-book helper for writers. See what Mike is up to now and subscribe to his newsletter at: http://gorelets.com

About Play Dead

Johnny had been to the top. Young and slick, he knew how to play the high roller, dress the part, and make his opponents sweat. He’d ridden into Vegas on a winning streak a mile wide. But Vegas took everything, even his lucky gold tooth. You’d think he couldn’t fall any lower than a homeless shelter full of the downtrodden. And he couldn’t possibly have anything left to lose. But you’d be wrong. Johnny soon discovers there’s a game going on at the shelter. A game where before you play the cards you have to make them. A game where the payout is survival and folding means death. A game where the question becomes: are you playing the cards or are they playing you? Using 52 chapters Arnzen’s novel-of-cards is stacked with mischief and thrills. Like the most accomplished blackjack dealer Arnzen will keep you guessing at his hand. Are you ready to play?

Find Play Dead on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Play-Dead-Michael-Arnzen/dp/193573833X/.

Mourning Jewelry Preorder

BOOKS-mourningjewelry

MOURNING JEWELRY
by Stephanie Wytovich
Collected poetry, $12.95

COMING MAY 8th

Mourning is the new black…

The tradition of Victorian mourning jewelry began with Queen Elizabeth after the death of her husband, Prince Albert. Without photography, mementos of personal remembrance were used to honor the dead so that their loved ones could commemorate their memory and keep their spirits close. Ashes were placed within rings, and necklaces were made out of hair, and the concept of death photography, small portraitures of the deceased, were often encased behind glass. Mourning jewelry became a fashion statement as much as a way to cope with grief, and as their pain evolved over the years, so did their jewelry.

But what about the sadness and the memories that they kept close to them at all times? The death-day visions and the reoccurring nightmares? Wytovich explores the horror that breeds inside of the lockets, the quiet terror that hides in the center of the rings. Her collection shows that mourning isn’t a temporary state of being, but rather a permanent sickness, an encompassing disease. Her women are alive and dead, lovers and ghosts. They live in worlds that we cannot see, but that we can feel at midnight, that we can explore at three a.m.

Wytovich shows us that there are hearts to shadows and pulses beneath the grave. To her, Mourning Jewelry isn’t something that you wear around your neck. It’s not fashion or a trend.  It’s something that you carry inside of you, something that no matter how much it screams, that you can just can’t seem to let out.

What They’re Saying About Mourning Jewelry

“From rimming the martini glass with a dead lover’s ashes, to bedsheets as straightjackets, Stephanie Wytovich masterminds the lustful grotesque. But there is a sweetness in the violence, comfort in the pretty terror. Feathers as amputated limbs, spirit carriages, and valleys that hold the tears of little girls. This collection caresses beneath the skin—like a fine lace shawl delicately woven with her own blood.”
-Jill Tracy, singer/songwriter and creator of Dexter season 7 theme

“In Mourning Jewelry, Wytovich takes all she did so well in her first book, Hysteria, and ratchets it up a notch. A bountiful, bold book, generously serving up more than 100 poems, each distinctive in its careful-yet-brutal musing about death and desire, written with a voice that is now firmly established as one of our top new horror poets. It’s a voice that seduces as it sickens. What strikes me most is Wyto’s talent for crafting morbid narrators and creepy characters that both fascinate and repulse us, in poem after poem, in a way that will have you turning the pages to see what lower depth she will take us to next. Even the Grim Reaper himself would drop his jaw reading some of these beautifully decadent poems. It’s a remarkable achievement.”
-Michael Arnzen, Bram Stoker Award-winning poet and author of Grave Markings

Mourning Jewelry features exquisite cover art by internationally renowned artist and musician Steven Archer, and is available for preorder at http://rawdogscreaming.com/books/mourning-jewelry/.

Behind the Scenes: Sick

REACHwebsmSick: An Anthology of Illness holds a special place in my heart, in that it was the first project of mine to see print. Sure, I’d had stories and poems in anthologies, magazines and newspapers. There were also eBooks and chapbooks (short, staple-bound publications). I’d also spent years by that point editing The Dream People online literary journal, but Sick was only the second publication by our fledgling publishing company.

Now, over a decade later, the book has become notorious. I still receive comments from readers every couple weeks, especially from authors who tell me they were influenced by this publication. The project never would have had the chance to become a “cult classic”–if that’s really what it is–without Michael A. Arnzen and Kurt Newton introducing me to so many great authors who became contributors, like Jeffrey Thomas and Scott Thomas. The anthology went on to become essentially a sampler of the authors and books to come over the next 10 years.

I’m happy to say that Sick can reach a whole new audience in the Kindle format. To celebrate this we’re offering a special Kindle countdown deal this week. Tonight and tomorrow morning the book is available for just $0.99, increasing by a dollar per day until it is back up to its normal price of $4.99. Sadly, there are no more promotional “Sick Bags” available, but there are some collectors who might sell you one. Tip: the “pills” in the custom prescription bottle will be stale now.

To take advantage of this deal click http://www.amazon.com/Sick-Anthology-John-Edward-Lawson-ebook/dp/B00H2Z6SKW/. Details about the book are included below. Thanks for taking the time to read this far!

* * *

What they’re saying about Sick:

“Stories by Harold Jaffe, Greg Beatty, Earl Javorsky, Brandi Bell, Kevin L. Donihe and satan165 (hilarious stuff) all display the combination of inventiveness and professionalism needed for success in this gray area of prose. Many of the other authors show outright genius…readers will be floored by it and think it a monstrous leap forward…and appreciate the breathtaking, exhilarating and often diabolical machinations of the human mind.”
—Absinthe Literary Review

“Now I ask you, with so much going on in the world today and horrors revealed daily on the evening news, is it still possible to shock the apathetic and indifferent? After reading this book all I can sum up is, “Hell Yes”! In fact, let me back up that statement with the admission that I was physically ill not once but twice during my visit into this world. This is not your typical run-of-the-mill scare here kiddies. In an arena created with mayhem and anarchy, Lawson makes sure to not only make you tremble with fear; he’s going to make you beg to be released.Bringing together a stellar collection of writers to assist him, Lawson annihilates the standard. With thirty-six stories revolving around the abnormal, the insane and the alluringly repugnant, I warn you—you will find no comfort here…Adding their own piece of flayed skin to an overpopulated pool of horror, each author and story adds a new perspective. This collection confirms my theory that should horror writers not be permitted to write out their therapy, they might have been highly successful serial killers.What makes a compilation like this stand out is the distinctive angle of each story. From one tale to the next, you’re never really sure where you’ll end up. From the quietly haunting to the appallingly shocking, this book keeps you on your toes and your mind in chaos.”
—Horror-Web

“Recently-launched Raw Dog Screaming Press is out of its cage, and the publishing world is going to have a hard time getting a muzzle back on this beast. Launching last fall with Harold Jaffe’s 15 Serial Killers, the fledgling press gave fair warning that Raw Dog wasn’t going to be your average kibble.

Now, with the publication of Sick: An Anthology of Illness, Raw Dog is losing its puppy teeth, and backing up its initial bark with hefty dose of bite. Edited by John Edward Lawson, this collection of thirty-six short fictions ruminates on pestilences of all shapes and sizes, the majority featuring strong offerings from the experimental holding cages of the horror and sci-fi undergrounds.

Here you’ll find not only a mini-sampler from Jaffe, but compelling work by Michael Arnzen (whose 100 Jolts will be Raw Dog’s next offering), the ghoulishly-brilliant “1.01-1.03″ image-text series by Andi and Lance Olsen (reprinted here from Fiction International’s “Ecstasy” issue), and shorts by Vincent W. Sakowski, Kevin L. Donihe and Jack Fisher that are all worthy of the solid underground following they’ve built for themselves. Emerging writers Brandi Bell, Jonathan William Hodges, C.J. Henderson and Claudette Rubin pock the collection with their own special sauces. Full-blown literary botchulism. Catch it for yourself.”
—Trevor Dodge, author of Yellow #10

Sick is just that—sick; a madman’s demented fever-dream. Sometimes funny. Sometimes horrifying. Always engaging. This is dark fiction on the edge.”
—Brian Keene, author of The Rising, Terminal and Fear of Gravity

“The themes and execution of the stories in Sick display a sort of existential splatterpunk sensibility. Brainy and brawny, the authors and artists collected herein explore illness, not only of the human body, but of the body politic, societal structures, and consumerism. These explorations reveal the latent inner illnesses in us all…the themes and tales in Sick churn in on themselves and intertwine with each other, showing not only ill effects, but the long-reaching effects of illness. Curl up, brew yourself some broth, and enjoy this rich collection—but do keep a barf bag handy, just in case.”
—Forrest Aguirre, World Fantasy Award winning editor of the Leviathan series

“What the hell were you people thinking sending me this odious, perverted and outlandish (but nonetheless beguiling) anthology of lunacy and smut? I should sick (no pun intended) Homeland Security on you for this obvious act of guerrilla terrorism(s). To cover your asses, I suggest you slap a stamp on the cover that reads: “SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING: Reading this book may cause mental deficits, breakdowns, manias, and could induce the reader to grope strangers and utter sexual innuendoes at inappropriate public venues.”
—Michael Hemmingson, editor of What the Fuck: The Avant-Porn Anthology and author of My Dream Date (Rape) With Kathy Acker

 

Deformity

As I edit my forthcoming books, with Spotify on the headphones…

Hump day seems as good a time as any to feature “Deformity” from the Colors Made of Tears soundtrack. This one is a bit slower, and quite a bit more noisy. If feedback delights your senses click https://bizarrowriter.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=1318 for a good old time.

As mentioned above I have several new books forthcoming, ranging from poetry to fiction collection to novels. If you are interested in reviewing any of these titles please contact me by email (johnlawsonauthor at gmail.com) and, if we have not done business previously, provide some background information about yourself as a reviewer.

Now, a treat for those of you in the Washington, DC metro area: Michael A. Arnzen will be the featured guest writer at the 2013 Horrorfest Fiction Workshop held at NOVA — Northern Virginia Community College – Manassas Campus. A public reading event will be open to the public on Friday, October 25th, followed by a public signing. Books will be available at the campus Barnes and Noble bookstore in Parrish Hall.

Friday, October 25th, 7:00pm: READING open to the public, followed by booksigning.

Saturday, October 26th, 10:30am-4pm: Writing Workshops: “A Sense of Dread” and “Catching Your Reader by Surprise” (for NOVA students only)

Northern Virginia Community College – Manassas Campus
6901 Sudley Rd, Manassas, VA 20109

Urban Legend

Today’s new song from the Colors Made of Tears soundtrack is titled “Urban Legend.” It’s a bit more fun and upbeat, while still bringing some creepy atmosphere and noise.

Some of you will have noticed I’m not around much online. That is due, in part, to spending two or three days a week at events lately. This weekend takes me to Pittsburgh in support of the Raw Dog Screaming Press Pittsburgh book tour: 5 authors, 5 stores, 1 day. Mad respect to Diane Turnshek for setting this up. Details below. While we’re in western Pennsylvania we intend to take part in a zombie chase which involves a wagon and paintball guns. There should be epic pics, as if photos of Michael A. Arnzen, Stephanie Wytovich, Matt Betts, and the Millers weren’t awesome enough!

DogCon 2 Special Guest Michael A. Arnzen

Michael A. ArnzenMichael Arznen was in the second book RDSP ever published – Sick: An Anthology of Illness and we put out his groundbreaking collection of short shorts, 100 Jolts in our 2nd year. Since then we’ve collaborated on a number of boundary testing projects including a CD, Audiovile, and a set of poetry magnets affectionately known as The Fridge of the Damned. His novel, Play Dead, sold out in hardcover and has just been re-released in paperback. This weekend he will lead a writing workshop at DogCon 2 titled “Breaking Bad: When Narratives Collapse.”

BOOKS-playdeadAbout Play Dead

Johnny had been to the top. Young and slick, he knew how to play the high roller, dress the part, and make his opponents sweat. He’d ridden into Vegas on a winning streak a mile wide. But Vegas took everything, even his lucky gold tooth.

You’d think he couldn’t fall any lower than a homeless shelter full of the downtrodden. And he couldn’t possibly have anything left to lose. But you’d be wrong.

Johnny soon discovers there’s a game going on at the shelter. A game where before you play the cards you have to make them. A game where the payout is survival and folding means death. A game where the question becomes: are you playing the cards or are they playing you?

Using 52 chapters Arnzen’s novel-of-cards is stacked with mischief and thrills. Like the most accomplished blackjack dealer Arnzen will keep you guessing at his hand. Are you ready to play?

Come meet Mike at DogCon 2! Information about lodging and
the FREE events is at http://rawdogscreaming.com/events/2013-dogcon-2/